Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Relationships, Dating and Marriage II

Last week we had a great discussion on the topic of relationships. There is so much to cover, however, so we are going to be continuing the topic this Friday night.

In our last discussion, we talked about things that are essential (needed) in a good relationship, such as trust, respect, and understanding. We also talked about what we look for in a partner. As homework, we asked people to make a list of what they look for, or what they did look for before they were married. On most dating websites, they ask you to fill out a form that tells other people what is important to them in another person. We promised that we would make one as an example, so here it is. (We are making the list as if were weren't married and had to make one now.)


  • Puts God first in his life and is a Christian (Seventh-day Adventist)
  • Kind/considerate
  • Honest, trustworthy
  • Enjoys travel and learning
  • Enjoys reading and (light) philosophical conversations
  • Vegetarian (preferably vegan,), healthy
  • Loves nature and the country
  • Can find his way around a city
  • Laid back, has a good sense of humor
  • Goal-setter, organized
  • Present minded (not stuck in the past or the future), but likes to make plans while still enjoying some spontaneity (doing things right now)
  • Active (likes to get outside and play/explore)
  • Committed (someone that I can count on)
  • Patient and understanding (tries to see things from my perspective/view)
  • Listens to me

  • I am looking for a woman who is confident and goal oriented.  I want to find someone who is not afraid of a challenge.  Someone who enjoys reading, thinking and discussing life.  
  • I would like to find someone who enjoys traveling to various parts of the world.  Who enjoys the outdoors, camping, and going out in nature for extended periods of time.
  • I would like someone who enjoys trying new things and is not afraid of change.  Who is mobile and who does not want to be tied down to possessions and things or one place.
  • I would like someone who is frugal and understands how to spend money.  Someone who does not expect an extravagant lifestyle or to spend money foolishly.
  • I am searching for someone who is gentle, who loves animals and who is vegetarian and/or vegan.  
  • I do not mind if you have never went to college, however, a desire to learn and to better yourself are important.  
  • You do not need to be rich or come from a wealthy background.  
  • Someone who loves God and is willing to put Him first always.  
  • Someone who likes to spend time together but also likes time alone to reflect.
  • A person who enjoys waking up early and evening walks.  Not a night owl (sometimes I do enjoy being up late, however).  
  • Someone who cares about exercise, health, and is drug/alcohol free.

Often, in the real world, when we meet someone and get to know them, we see how similar they are (how much they are like us) or how they complement us (completes or goes well with us). We can consider what we are looking for in a partner and see if they are a good fit. Usually a person won't meet all of the things that we want. Afterall, we are all only human. But somethings are usually more important than others. For example, it might not be as important for a person to be tall or short, but it is important that they be trustworthy.

Unequally Yoked

So what makes a good marriage? Probably the most important thing is having similar beliefs. Christians often consider the verse in the Bible from 2 Corinthians 6:14 that states: "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" What does this mean? According to gotquestions.org, "A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull. An “unequally yoked” team has one stronger ox and one weaker, or one taller and one shorter. The weaker or shorter ox would walk more slowly than the taller, stronger one, causing the load to go around in circles. When oxen are unequally yoked, they cannot perform the task set before them. Instead of working together, they are at odds with one another. (Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/unequally-yoked.html#ixzz3ZvZblYeC

If two people get married and do not have similar beliefs, it causes many problems. What if one person spends a lot of money and one person likes to save? What if one person thinks that it is ok to have relationships on the side while one person wants commitment? What if one person is religious and the other isn't? What happens when they have children? 

What contributes to divorce? 

A simple search online brings up pages and pages with reasons why couples get divorced. Some of them include: 

  • Getting married for the wrong reasons (you just want a family, you want to move out of your parents house, you want someone who makes a lot of money, etc.)
  • Lack of individual identity (feeling like you are your own person with your own interests)
  • Not having a shared vision of success (having similar beliefs)
  • Finances (money issues)
  • Loss of intimacy (feeling "out of touch")

There are many more reasons as well that we will discuss on Friday, as well as how these common problems can be prevented. 

Our Experience

As we mentioned last time, we have been married for 14 years. In that time we have been through many hard times in life, as well as many wonderful times. Since the birth of our daughter, our relationship has changed and has presented new challenges to face and overcome. Many people wonder how we do it. We have found that the most important thing is to put God first. This means that we have our own, as well as shared, time spent in devotion (reading the Bible and talking about it) and prayer. This connects us with God and teaches us what He wants us to be like. By striving to be the best people that we can be and relying on God's help to do so, we become a better husband, wife, friend, and parent. We become more patient, considerate, kind, loving, helpful, less stressed, etc. By becoming better people, we have a better relationship. 

What about you? What do you think or what have you found makes a good marriage that will last for a lifetime? These are questions that can be addressed in your English journal and/or brought to Friday night for discussion. 

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